In the early 1980s, two milestones were achieved by the late Dr. Oded Bar-Or at McMaster University and McMaster Children’s Hospital: the classic textbook Pediatric Sports Medicine for the Practitioner was published and the Children's Exercise & Nutrition Centre was opened (then called the Children’s Therapeutic Exercise and Health Centre). These two events catalyzed a new generation of clinicians and scientists devoted to using exercise to improve the health of children. Indeed, Dr. Bar-Or was considered the Father of pediatric exercise medicine and science.
Over the last 30 years, the Children’s Exercise & Nutrition Centre has been the home to world-class research and the clinical care of thousands of children with a variety of health conditions. The clinical goal was to enhance the care of children and youth with a chronic disease or disability by providing exercise- and diet-related assessments, interventions, and follow-up. With an increasing prevalence of childhood obesity, clinical activity at the Children’s Exercise & Nutrition Centre focused on a multi-disciplinary weight management program, which is now led by Dr. Katherine Morrison.
The Child Health & Exercise Medicine Program builds on the tradition and legacy of Dr. Bar-Or’s work and is a renaissance of his original vision. Led by Dr. Brian Timmons, the mission of the Child Health & Exercise Medicine Program is to advance child health through excellence in research, education, and clinical care dedicated to exercise as medicine.